Please understand, although most of my statements are most likely true, please consult a physician or professional and everything below is only “in my personal opinion” and cannot be used in place of a professional.
Getting clean. Step 1
The person has to surrender. This is the absolute hardest part and most crucial, The person has to admit to detox, which means flu like symptoms with possibly some help with detoxification drugs. They don't have to go to official detox(as a friend or family member adhering to a plan can work). The choices are the most preferred 90 days, which if you have insurance, you will be lucky if 1 week is covered, let alone 30 days.
If its one week or 30 days this will only be physically healing time. This is the easy part. You can choose to use suboxone or methadone to help you through detox. Suboxone can be handled in a doctors office setting, where as methadone, is allot more stringent process, with allot more rules and stress. But methadone is a pure substitute for the drug and a much better blocker for the more "hard core" addicted individuals.
You can stay on suboxone or methadone for your entire life. People may criticize that you are substituting one drug for another. This is a myth. Suboxone has absolutely no effect , no high on former users of pure opiods. Methadone has sedation, but also has no high. The only bad part about using these drugs for a long time is they are substitutions for your natural endorphine system in your body. The longer you stay on, the longer it will take your body to produce natural endorphines again so you can feel happy.
Getting clean and staying clean. Step 2
Once a person is abstinent, or you can characterize himself as not relapsed in a while, doesn’t want to use anymore and means it, now you have to fight the other demon and the subconscious that it leaves on the brain. The following are things you can use, more the merrier, to block the relapse from happening.
1. restrict money. You cant get drugs without money, create a new checking account, transfer the money you have and make sure he has no access. Hide your checks etc he can forge your signature and make it out to himself.
2. If he makes any money, it has to be handed directly over to you. Make sure its not cash its a check so you make sure he is not skimming off the top. No more direct deposit into his account. Make it check or into your account, or a designated account.
3. Check your account just encase he has found out a way to get access to you account.
4. Give him a credit card. You cant buy dope with a credit card on the street. I mean yes they can make deals ill get you a new xbox for this. But that rarely is what dealers are interested in. They want cash. Also make sure they do not use the pin on credit cards for cash, and some cards like discover at the register give you a cash back option.
5. Get a safe to store all jewelry, documents to get access to money, other credit cards, checks etc. You have to stop anyway they can get valuables.
6. Keep your purse close and never unattended and always make sure you know whats in their and check if anything is missing.
7. always check the credit card online for transactions as much as you can.
8. Tell the addict, that you will call the police if you suspect he has illegal drugs in the house. They might not be able to search him, but let them know, they now put notes on your name, which links to their license plate, and they might be out getting drugs one day and will be put in jail, which if they havent been to jail, they should go, cause its one of the bottoms that I have experienced and in some places can be the most disgusting place, no sleep, no space for days after days. Let them stay there at least 24 to 48 hours IF you want to place bail. If not they might learn more by staying longer but I wouldnt do that to them IMO.
9. Have them go to whats called out patient. This is where they have to go to by their rules to get meds(or no meds if they are doing this sober) and whats important is they are drug tested. Make sure you have them sign a release to get the results sent to you. They possibly could be using Suboxone as a crutch to use opiates or heroin, and not pay the penalty of withdrawls by taking their suboxone subscription again, and selling what they did not use to by heroin or other opiates.
10. You can tell when somebody is high or using. If they are nodding, their head, sleeping allot, drooling, slurring speech, pin eyed pupils, always ask to see their arms for track marks, legs, hip, neck etc.
11. you can give them cash, 20 bucks max, as an allowance but, make sure , like a squirrel , they are not saving it for a day they can go out and buy an amount thats worth it. 20 dollars should last at least a week.
12. If they ask for cash for something more then 20 amount, or someplace that doesnt take credit cards, ask for proof of this place or tell them make sure they get the receipt.
13. NA or AA never worked out for me, but a psychologist or therapist definitely helps because the person used for some reason that has to be worked out. Some therapists will work with you if you dont have money or coverage.
14. Keep them away from watching Intervention or any Drug related movies as they can be triggers.(the detox and rehab should have identified all of these)
15. As vigilant as you are to them, let them know you love them too, and that they are doing great!
16. You have to be a detective, search hiding places in the house, search their car etc,pockets etc.
17. Look up their nostrils and you can see white substance on their nose hairs and look for white substance
18. Let them know if they get a record in jail, it will take away so much from their life. If they have a job, they cant leave, and some places do a yearly check on employees and can be fired that way, if they are not working, good luck at finding a job in this economy without a record, with one they will show you the door for less offenses then this. Their future is ruined, and if they ever become sober, it will dwell on them mentally every day of their life!
19. Understand that if they are just coming out of detox, their tolerance is low, which means if they do go out and relapse, they think they can take the same amount, or maybe half, and that can still be enough to kill them
20. The addiction they had, is going to be replaced by another addiction. For me it was video games. Their are of course better things to choose, but the person has to seek or will find a new addiction whether good or bad
21. Understand that using opiates gives a large amount of endorphin's to the brain hence relieving pain, but after using for a long period the brain doesnt produce endorphin's itself anymore so, the person will be depressed. You can google over the counter and vitamin supplements like vitamin C that help, but its going to take 30- 90 days to get them back to somewhat normal. If they are taking suboxone or methadone or any other prescriptions, they will be dependent on those instead. You have to choose what is best. Of course drug free is the best but some are too addicted to do it assistance free.
22. Fighting with the addict does not help. This will increase the stress and want the person to escape and just use more. Attack the problem more with a discussion and facts other then arguing if you can.
Its over. No, you are an addict for life.
If you the person is not taking any maintenance drugs, or is completely clean. I would suggest vigilant with the list above or most of them. After 1-2 years the psychological hold and urge to use, doesnt completely go away, but the other subconscious is more powerful in my opinion and finally the consequences are contemplated and win the mental battle.
Now certain future trauma in the persons life can start the process all over again. Like loosing a loved one, abuse, anything thats major, or that you might not know is major to them.
Therapy can take longer then 2 years, some it can take as much as 10 or their entire lives.
P.S. If you need personal assistance, please email me at HeroinAddictionHelp@gmail.com and we can schedule a phone call or a online chat of some kind.
Quick Pro and Con on Maintenance drugs
First you have to choice to use these drugs as a temporary relief or a long term relief or for life or not at all. I really think it depends on the level of addiction to what to choose.
Slowly this is being less being offered at detox facilities and Suboxone is used instead. Methadone is a way is stronger then heroin, but does not give the person euphoria or a high. They will nod, and sleep ,but is the most effective drug to keep the user from using and being killed by heroin in terms of overdose as the methadone will block any high from usage of heroin. Methadone has the longest half life of all opiates and stays in your system longer and comes out slowly hence its easier on the system compared to heroin which is out in 6 hours, Methadone is out in 48 hours. In my opinion Methadone can be used temporary to taper down until a very low amount and the user will not go through a hard withdrawal. As for long term use, it gives the user time to settle the persons mental issues and come to terms with actually wanting to try to become clean. As for lifetime usage, its also appropriate, but is not ideal as they will increasingly need higher and higher dosages so the methadone. Be aware Methadone users try to use xanex(Alprazolam),knopolin(Clonzapam),Ativan(Lorazapam),Valium(Diazempam),and all other types of sleep meds especially the benzodiazepines I listed above. Muscle relaxers, Soma(Carispadol) is used to get the Heroin effect. The con about using methadone, is it is only offered by entering in a daily program where you have to get in line along with the entire addiction community, it adds stress to the addict to be up early in the morning to get in line,get up earlier on other occasions to make mandatory meetings(even if your privately using a therapists), and meetings with your counselor on a determined basis, and randomly drug tested. Also, all of your doctors, have to be notified that you are on methadone for them to allow you to stay there on maintenance coming up positive for any prescriptions. If its Christmas, they are open, if its thanksgiving they are open. They call it liquid handcuffs for a reason. Vacation? 1 week a year. On the other hand on a scale, they give you take home bottles depending on your length of being drug free and making all your meetings and counselors and being perfect. In my opinion this is the reason why methadone could be a much better medicine but not in such an environment like this as nobody is perfect and hence the liquid handcuffs name was given.
This drug is an antagonist (opposite of opiods) but still is based on opiates. The advantage of this drug, is the addiction can be taken care of in a office setting instead of a daily line and less stress that comes with a methadone program. Suboxone can only be taken when the person is going through PHYSICAL withdrawals and not PSYCHOLOGICAL withdrawal. Heroin is out of your system usually in 6 hours, but if they have been using allot and daily basis, its best to start taking suboxone when they are going through bad withdrawls, if you take it too soon, suboxone will force withdrawls sooner. So they have to be legitimacy withdrarwling. The longer they can wait and the sicker they can wait to feel, the better the effects suboxone will have and relief will set in.
Taking Suboxone for detox I do not see the point. If it is for detox no longer then 3-4 days using less every time should be the max. Because when you are on Suboxone you will have to go through withdrawals from that as well which is a second run with the person will not want to take, and they say the withdrawals are allot easier then coming off of herion, but some say its worse. Nobody knows , and everyone is different. Temporary usage is still “ok” too because at least they are not taking a more hard drug such as methadone which has the hardest withdrawals if not done properly then suboxone(they say) but the person has to be given time to learn the ropes and want to be sober. As for long term usage, its the best choice in my opinion. Suboxone does not give the user any high what so ever so maintenance it is a very good choice. (side note, if a person who is not an addict, Suboxone will give a person a high, and can even overdose if they are young but im staying in context of an addict). They are never high, they are blocked from using heroin for a couple days(not as strong as methadone though) and is not injectable or abusable. If they try they will get the naloxone which is what they give an overdosed patient in the hospital to save the persons life and sent the person into into immediate withdrawals. The naloxone does not work if the medication is taken correctly under the tongue. They can become a functioning person, with less “trading one drug for another” like methadone, since they do not get high. Then, maybe in the future they can try to get over Suboxone.
This is the same as above, but there is no naloxone in the pill, which means if a user tries to inject the pill they will get a higher effect, but not much. Its not even worth it because buprenorphine has a ceiling effect, meaning you can take 1 pill and take 20 pills and have the same feeling and you cannot overdose. Plus injecting pills you cannot just crush it up and mix it with water. Heroin is 100% mixable with water, and that's why it works. Pills Subutex,Suboxone,Xanex, all have fillers so its actually forms a pill because most of these are either liquid form in their native form or a powder that is not mixable in water and can cause severe problems in your veins if you try to inject. Anyway, Subutex is better when the person is been on Suboxone for a while and has not overdosed, even though they say Suboxone when taking properly orally under your tounge only 1% of the naloxone gets into your body, in my opinion I do not think that it is true, I think more gets in. Subutex(brand name no longer available in the US), they call is Subutex generic or, buprenorphine generic has one less chemical and lets the buprenorphine do its job and the naloxone not interfere with it in my opinion.